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Dort Highway extension project on track for interchange to reopen this fall

Published: Sep. 8, 2020 at 6:58 PM EDT
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GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJRT) - Getting around Grand Blanc Township hasn’t been easy for the last few months.

Three projects are happening at the same time within a few miles of each other. One of them, the Dort Highway extension, is right on track and the I-75 interchange should reopen later this fall.

The Dort Highway interchange at I-75 closed entirely in July so crews can add three roundabouts and a full mile onto Dort Highway. The project has been in the works since 2015.

“We have done a 40-year projection and it shows things will just get jumbled and congested,” said Eric Johnston of the Genesee County Road Commission. “So that’s what this project is for -- to help with that and reduce the projected congestion, so people aren’t just sitting there and there won’t be as many accidents.”

The entrance and exit ramps at Dort Highway and I-75 are set to be reopened by November and the second portion of the project is scheduled to start shortly after.

But while this multi-million dollar project is happening, another necessary project is happening along Dort Highway too.

“There’s also a large pipeline project happening along the road too that Consumers Energy is working on. That goes from Gibson Road to M-59,” Johnston said. “This is the third phase of that project, which started up in Saginaw County two years ago.”

Consumers Energy is replacing 78 miles of natural gas pipeline, but the utility is working in conjunction with the Genesee County Road Commission to make the project run smooth and on the same timeline as the Dort Highway extension.

“Consumers has been able to put the pipeline in before we have to go in with the road. So they’re not having to come back through and cut up the road,” Johnston said. “So we’ve been ready to build the road. They said they would bore the pipeline under the roadway, so the crews aren’t bothering each other -- just a lot of communication.”

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